The 11th Head Men’s Basketball Coach in Franciscan University history, Lamanna is entering his fifth year at the helm. After discontinuing athletics in 1980, this past season marked the fourth year of full NCAA Division III membership for Franciscan. Lamanna is no stranger to working with a transitioning program. Prior to Franciscan, Lamanna assisted the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) in their transition from NCAA Division II to NCAA Division I competition. With the re-introduction of athletics at FUS, Lamanna is excited about the rare opportunity that coaching basketball at Franciscan presents.
“With the continued growth of the university and athletic department as a whole, we are experiencing a re-definition of what sports and spirituality really mean,” He explains. “Franciscan University and the men’s basketball program are developing men who learn, live and compete in an environment that encourages virtuous decisions in all aspects of their lives. This is very unique within the current culture of college athletics. “
Since taking over the head coaching position in August of 2011, the Men’s Basketball program has made great strides.
“Since the re-introduction of athletics, the Men’s Basketball Program has welcomed its first recruiting classes since the late 1970’s,” Lamanna added. “These young men are committed to the mission of the university, and are trail blazers in this new era of athletics here at Franciscan. It is this group of student-athletes who have committed themselves to the quest of making Franciscan University a premier collegiate basketball program at the NCAA Division III level.”
The program has experienced many successes with the youthful Barons. The Men’s Basketball program was invited to participate in the 2012 Hoopsville National Invitational Classic; the premier college basketball tip-off classic. It was the first national exposure that the new Barons received since athletics were re-introduced at the school. At the Hoopsville National Invitational Classic the Barons competed against top college basketball programs that have won National Championships and made multiple Final Four and Elite Eight appearances.
In just four years under Lamanna’s leadership, the men’s basketball program has been honored with the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference’s 2011-2012 Team Perak Performer Award, which is presented to the program with the team highest cumulative grade point average in their specific sport. Additionally, Nolan Albrecht was named Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Newcomer of the year in 2011-2012 and Joe Rine finished the 2012-2013 season ranked 5th in the nation in blocked shots per game. The last two seasons have seen the program's highest win totals at the NCAA Division III level.
During the 2014-15 Franciscan was among the top 11% nationally in increased winning percentage. The Barons finished the 2014-15 season strongly by winning two of their last four games. With their strong finish and four starters returning for the 2015-16 season the program's future should be exciting.
Prior to Lamanna’s arrival at Franciscan University he spent eleven seasons at the NCAA Division I level. From 2006-2011, Lamanna was an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at UC Davis. During his tenure at UC Davis, the Aggies finished as high as third place in the Big West Conference and participating in post season play in three of his five seasons. Lamanna recruited and coached four All Big West Conference student-athletes and one All Academic Big West Conference student-athlete. Additionally, Scouthoops.com ranked UC Davis with the best Big West recruiting class in 2007 and ESPN.com ranked UC Davis with the 8th best mid major recruiting class in the country. Beyond Lamanna’s recruiting responsibilities, he had his hands in all aspects of the program and played a pivotal role in the program’s successes.
Lamanna spent 2004-2006 as the Director of Men’s Basketball Operations at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). During his time on campus at LMU, the Lions completed their best season in over ten years, finishing in second place in the West Coast Conference (WCC), only to fall in the waning seconds to Gonzaga University in the 2003-2004 WCC Championship Game. While at LMU, Lamanna saw a total of three Lions named to the All WCC Team.
Lamanna received his start in college basketball at Washington State University, where he was a Student Assistant from 2000-2004. During his time at Washington State, Lamanna had the opportunity to work under Dick Bennett and current Head Coach at the University of Viriginia, Tony Bennett. It was also at Washington State where Lamanna worked with Gary Stewart, who was the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at UC Davis.
Through the course of Lamanna’s career, he has had two stints with USA Basketball. First, in the summer of 2002, Lamanna was selected to assist at the tryouts and training camp for USA Youth Festival Basketball. Lamanna lived at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado during the camp where he worked with the top high school basketball players in the nation. The team went on to compete against other youth national teams at the World Youth Festival later that summer. The following summer (2003) USA Basketball invited Lamanna back for a second stint at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to assist with the tryouts and training camp for the Junior National Team and Pan American Team, which saw the nation’s top collegiate basketball players compete against other nations in the World Games and Good Will Games later that summer. During Lamanna’s two stints with USA Basketball, he had the opportunity to work with members of the Basketball Hall of Fame and some of the top college coaches in the country.
Since 2005, Lamanna has been the Director of the Reese’s NCAA Division I College Basketball All Star Game held at the Final Four site the Friday before the Final Four. Lamanna has worked as an Assistant Coach each year under Hall of Fame Basketball Coaches along with current top Division I coaches in the country.
Additionally, in 2001 Lamanna served as an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach for the college basketball select team which competed in New Zealand against professional club teams in the spring of that year.
Outside of coaching, Lamanna is a published author with an article published by Scholastic Coach and Athletic Director Magazine entitled “How to Establish an Academic Philosophy as a Coach” and an article published by Winning Hoops Magazine which was a comparative analysis of two different man-to-man defensives. Additionally, Lamanna was featured in American Basketball Quarterly Magazine in an article about how scouting and technology can lead to success.
At all of Lamanna’s stops he has been very active within the community. Currently, the Barons participate yearly in community service projects called “Acts of Mercy”. This has found the Barons working with the less fortunate in the greater Steubenville community.
A Spokane, Washington native, Lamanna graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from Washington State University and a master’s degree in Counseling from Loyola Marymount University. Lamanna resides in Wintersville, OH with his wife, Sara and their two children, Gabi (3) and Tony (1).
Along with Lamanna’s Head Men’s Basketball Coaching responsibility at Franciscan, he serves as the athletic department’s Manager of Compliance and Facilities.
Lamanna continues to be affiliated with and work with Athletes in Action, SportsLeader, Varsity Catholic and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.